BJJ Tips: Expect mistakes. Don't Panic

Yesterday after the no-gi session I rolled with a couple of peeps. I started with a great roll with one of our top purple belts (a mucky shade of Purple may I add!). I stuck to my game plan and did only what I had intended on doing. By the time he tapped me, however, I was knackered and dripping with sweat. After that, I went on to roll with another player and, glancing quickly at the time, I knew this would be my last roll for the day.

8-9 minutes into the roll, I was completely gassed out. Quickly assessing where I was in the day, I thought to myself that this was acceptable. After all, I had had a hard session and followed that with a 10 minute roll with an excellent purple belt.

The only problem was, my partner didn't feel the same. He clearly seemed to have plenty gas left and as they say: “It’s a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired–you quit when the gorilla is tired.”. Fair enough I thought and carried on, but I realised I needed to play from top now. I swept with a textbook hip-heist and ended up in mount top. All according to plan. Peaches!

Suddenly, as my partner started preparing his escape, the tiredness settled in and I panicked.

My usual game plan of focusing on securing the position was the first thing to fly out of the window. I secured a cross face and started working for a no-gi Ezekiel. I thought to myself: This is the last round so I'll put my all in.

What? I have never succeeded at these chokes before! Why was I doing this? Why did it matter suddenly not to lose mount and to finish? Why was I suddenly trying to finish him with a submission I wasn't good at?

The simple answer is: I hadn't mentally prepared for the round to last that long or for me to be that tired. I panicked.

The Joker in Batman said: "people don't panic if everything goes according to plan." Well, put it into your plan that plans are made to be broken.

Next time I'm in a similar position, I will remind myself of my game plan and my priorities and tap or get tapped, I'll at least go home proud that I didn't panic.

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